Condo building construction on the corner of Hawkins Street and Third Avenue behind Sanchez Cantina restaurant in Whitehorse on May 16, 2019. The builders are asking the City for a temporary closure of the back lane, but the restaurant owners say that will interfere with their renovation plans. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Lane closure could impact restaurant’s plans to expand deck

Whitehorse city staff to look for solution to help both businesses

When the building plans of one business owner interfere with the expansion plans of another, the City of Whitehorse steps in to look for a solution.

At least that’s how things played out at city council’s May 13 meeting where an application for a temporary road closure came forward.

The application submitted by NGC Builders would allow the company to use the lane behind the lot at Third Avenue and Hawkins Street where it is developing a six-story condo structure. The partial lane closure would be in place until May 1, 2020 and the space would be used for a crane and materials.

The additional space is “critical for the construction of the building,” acting city engineer Wayne Tuck said, adding it will improve the overall safety of the construction site and efficiency, thus potentially shortening the construction time needed.

As council soon learned though, it could interfere with the plans of Sanchez Cantina owner Otelina Sanchez to expand her restaurant deck.

Renovations are underway for the restaurant and part of that is the deck expansion, she said.

To accommodate that, she has to place her garbage dumpsters at the back of the restaurant.

If the city allows the temporary closure of the lane, the waste can’t be collected, as there would be no lane access. The only other option would be to have the dumpsters in the area where the deck is being expanded.

That would put her plans for the deck expansion behind by a year.

Sanchez said she got a phone message from NGC officials letting her know of their plans (as NGC is required to contact all property owners that could be impacted), but hasn’t been able to connect with any company officials by phone yet about the matter.

That had Coun. Dan Boyd suggesting city staff get in touch with NGC and Sanchez to see if there’s a way to deal with the matter ahead of the May 21 council meeting when members will vote on the temporary lane closure.

“Maybe there’s a solution to be had,” Boyd said as Tuck confirmed staff would pursue the matter.

One of the conditions for the temporary lane closure, if approved, would be to work with private waste collectors to accommodate collection.

There are also conditions that NGC provide formal notification to impacted residents, notify emergency responders, provide proof of insurance and a traffic detour plan.

Council is scheduled to vote on the closure at its May 21 meeting.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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